Parks are incredibly important for our mental and physical well-being in these challenging times, and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park remains open seven days a week for local residents to use for their daily exercise. We asked Executive Director of Park Operations and Venues, Mark Camley, what is being done to keep the Park as safe as possible and what you can all do to help us keep it open for those that need it.
Why are parks so important, particularly in the current climate?
Parks are beneficial for both our physical and mental health. The research on this goes back over 100 years and shows that our blood pressure falls and our stress levels drop when we are in green or blue spaces.
Who is looking after the Park?
Our Security team are continuing to work day and night to look after the Park, its venues and our local visitors using the Park for their daily exercise. They have close links with the local police teams to ensure that it is a safe place. We also have a small team of gardeners focussed on essential works to maintain the parklands.
What are you doing to keep the Park safe?
We are constantly looking at how we can keep the Park open for local residents to use safely, and have anticipated Government guidance when it came to closing our venues and playgrounds. While the playgrounds and outdoor gym areas are now closed off, the Park has plenty of wide-open spaces that allows those living locally to get some fresh air and exercise while observing the Government’s guidelines.
These guidelines are being shared around the Park on clear signage, and we’ve made good use of London Stadium’s digital screen to promote important messages about social distancing rules and safe use of the Park. These are displayed using graphics as well as text, making the information as widely accessible as possible.
What can visitors do to keep the Park safe?
Keeping the Park open relies on all of us doing our part. Be aware of other visitors while you are on the Park, particularly if you are running or cycling, and follow social distancing – keeping 2 metres apart from those around you. If you’re walking your dog, remember to keep them on a lead, and don’t use the Park for anything other than a short, daily visit for exercise. Please take any litter home with you, as that will help us minimise the waste collection effort required.
While the Park is an important resource for local communities, we appreciate that there are many regular visitors who come from further afield. At this time, we would ask that you don’t visit us unless you are able to walk or cycle to the Park. Instead, we encourage you to visit your local Park and continue to follow our social media channels, where we will be sharing some of our favourite pictures from over the last few years of the Park in all its springtime glory.